Thank you public school teachers

To the Editor:

As we all prepare to listen to speeches at Mass in the next couple of weeks celebrating Catholic Schools Week, I want to take a moment to celebrate and give a big thank you to the people who make public schools great, too!

Most news stories seem to be doom and gloom when it comes to public schools these days, but thanks to public schools and educators, everyone has a chance at an education. Several years ago my husband, who is a public school teacher, told a shocked priest that some students in his classroom come from the shelter each day because they are homeless.

Some kids are able to eat each day because they attend public school. Public schools offer the best resources for many children, including those with mental and physical challenges, learning disabilities or who are immigrants learning the English language.

When you read or hear about how other countries are out-scoring American students on tests, ask yourself whether countries that test higher actually test all students. Are these countries giving standardized tests to kids who are homeless, kids with physical, mental and learning disabilities, and kids who are not fluent in the official language?

Consider thanking public school teachers, administrators and staff for all that they do for kids, especially for the most challenged ones. Truthfully, our public schools are serving the most vulnerable kids and performing corporal works of mercy for their own student body every day, not just as a volunteer service project. My kids attend a public school that has a weekly Rosary Club meeting. The choir performs an amazing annual Cathedral Concert held at St. Mary Church in Iowa City. Please remember that Jesus is present in both Catholic schools and public ones.

Deborah Hellwig
Iowa City


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